A Fidesz full-court press in advance of the Veszprém County by-election

Exactly a week from today the parliamentary by-election in Veszprém County’s 3rd electoral district (Tapolca, Ajka, and environs) will take place. This district has been Fidesz territory for a long time. Jenő Lasztowicza, whose death necessitated the by-election, had represented the district since 1998. Last year the Fidesz candidate received 43.1% of the votes. Both the liberal-socialist and the Jobbik candidates trailed him by a wide margin, with 27.3% and 23.5% of the votes. Today the situation is apparently different. No one dares call the winner. The predictions one reads are merely guesswork. The only polling in the district was conducted by a company that is considered to be a Jobbik think tank. According to its results, the Fidesz and Jobbik candidates are neck to neck while the candidate of MSZP-DK is trailing badly.

The government party seems to be worried about its candidate’s chances. László Kövér, while visiting Tapolca, assured the party’s voters that winning the district has only “prestige value.” One extra vote on the government side makes no difference now that the two-thirds is gone, but what is important is electing a man who can represent the district well. That man, of course, is Zoltán Fenyvesi, the Fidesz candidate. Kövér said that Jobbik’s real message is a “Nazi ideology” while the MSZP-DK candidate is just a typical trade union leader. János Lázár was even more hard-hitting: there can be no choice in a race where the Fidesz candidate’s challengers are a Nazi and a communist. On the spot Fidesz activists are working very hard, occasionally using less than honorable methods against the Jobbik and MSZP-DK candidates. Both turned to the police to investigate the unknown culprit who has been distributing below-the-belt Fidesz campaign literature. It is getting ugly and we still have another week to go.

The government also decided to bolster the chances of the Fidesz candidate in Tapolca, where Jobbik is supposed to be strong. The Fidesz government was planning to close the small, inadequate local hospital, a decision that apparently turned even more voters toward Jobbik. The government suddenly found 2.3 billion forints for the renovation and modernization of the facility. A similar bribe didn’t work in Veszprém, and I doubt that it will work in Tapolca. Ajka, the largest town in the district, is an MSZP stronghold, but even here the government is attempting to induce voters to switch allegiance. Fenyvesi announced yesterday that the government will support the Le Bélier company with 507 million forints for a new project that will provide 100 new jobs in Ajka. The latest is that Viktor Orbán himself will campaign in Tapolca, where he is supposed to make an earthshakingly important announcement.

Will all this be enough? It is worth taking a look at an excellent article that appeared in HVG a few days ago: “Facts are hard to argue with: Fidesz in deep trouble.” The conclusion of the article is that although Fidesz is still leading nationwide according to opinion polls, when it comes to actual performance in elections it is doing very badly. Since the last national and local elections 37 by-elections were held, and  Fidesz underwhelmed.

In these 37 by-elections Fidesz-KDNP nominated its own candidates in 11 (two national and nine local elections). It won only three of these 11 elections, and in one the Fidesz candidate ran unopposed. Jobbik has not been doing too well either. Its candidates ran in eight elections but won only two. The Jobbik candidate even lost in Tiszavasvár, which has a Jobbik mayor and which Gábor Vona called “the capital of Jobbik.” On the other hand, MSZP put up candidates in six elections and won in three. These wins were in addition to Veszprém, where Zoltán Kész was supported by MSZP-DK and the other democratic parties. One of the conclusions of this survey is that the democratic parties no longer have to hide behind independent candidates. An MSZP-DK candidate can win with explicit party support.

It was Ipsos that came out with the nationwide results that placed Jobbik only a few percentage points behind Fidesz, which scared not only Hungarians but democrats all over the world. Therefore, I think it is important to look at the results of surveys by five different polling companies taken at approximately the same time.

Fidesz1As you can see, Ipsos’s results for Fidesz seems extreme in comparison to those of the other four.

Fidesz2The same is true about Ipsos’s measurement of Jobbik’s strength between May 2014 and March 15. Medián and Tárki show stagnation or a slight decrease in popularity.

Fidesz3Here it is Nézőpont that seems to underestimate MSZP strength. One must realize that the numbers for MSZP are somewhat misleading because the graphs don’t show DK’s popularity, which stands at 7%.

The problem with Fidesz is that it cannot motivate its voting base. Fidesz employs the most modern campaign techniques, using carefully constructed voter lists, but all this is in vain if alleged Fidesz supporters refuse to go out and vote for the party. HVG‘s article quotes a conversation between a Fidesz activist and a former Fidesz voter in Veszprém:

Good afternoon! On Sunday we are deciding on the successor of [Tibor] Navracsics. Surely, you will come and vote for Fidesz.

Well, let’s forget about that now, OK? I will vote for Fidesz again when I have a watch like János Lázár’s.

Jobbik has always had an enthusiastic voting base, but that was not the case with MSZP. Just the opposite. In the past Fidesz and Jobbik easily managed to get out the vote while MSZP supporters were hard to move, partly because the party’s campaign techniques were so poor. But lately MSZP voters have been ready to go to the polls in order to defeat Fidesz. And DK voters have always been a motivated lot. These parties need to recapture some of the voters they lost after 2008. That will not be an easy task, although it seems to me that Viktor Orbán and his minions are doing everything in their power to make the democratic opposition’s work easier.

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exTor
Guest

I laughed when I read “alleged Fidesz supporters”, Éva. The descriptive ‘alleged’ is not something that I expected. It is a word that I would only use in the context of a crime, as in “the alleged perpetrator”. The word ‘alleged’ should only be tagged to someone who has been accused of a crime. My word of choice in this instance would be ‘supposed’.

Perhaps being a Fidesz supporter should be considered a crime.

MAGYARKOZÓ

exTor
Guest

I dont want to get into a shouting match with you, Éva, however I must issue a clarification. The two words, ‘alleged’ and ‘supposed’, are very close in meaning, however they are not semantically 100% identical. They are synonyms and there is a subtle usage difference.

‘Alleged’ should only be used in the context of allegations. It’s that simple. I have heard native-born English speakers misuse ‘alleged’. (I can tell that English is their first (maybe only) language by their lack of accents.)

I commend you on your level of English, Éva, but you’re an an exacademic who spent many decades in the United States, hence your English capability should be top-notch. Would that I could speak Hungarian half as well as you do English. I’d be twice as good as I am now. … (–:

MAGYARKOZÓ

petofi
Guest

I would agree that ‘allege’ is generally used in a legal sense.

Webber
Guest
You are quite wrong, and the native speakers you ALLEGEDLY heard (or ALLEGE to have heard) are, of course, right. Eva, also, has used the word properly. It is certainly not the same as “supposed” (something someone SUPPOSES – but doesn’t know – to be so), but you were wrong when you ALLEGED that an ALLEGATION is only a legal term, and it certainly does NOT mean “accusation.” An ALLEGATION is simply something someone ALLEGES (claims) to be so. This term is certainly very useful in legal situations. It is, however, also useful in everyday life. (n.b. there is nothing wrong with using legal language in everyday life). Anyway, you should not take my ALLEGATION about the meaning of the verb ALLEGE as the truth, but should consult a dictionary. I suggest Websters, which is the standard dictionary of American English. If you do consult Websters, you will find the definition is: “allege transitive verb alleged, alleging to assert positively, or declare; affirm; esp., to assert without proof” And also, you will find it can mean “to offer as a plea, excuse, etc.: in his defense he alleged temporary insanity ARCHAIC to cite as an authority (for or against)” In… Read more »
Webber
Guest

P.S. I grow tired of non-native speakers trying to correct Eva’s English, and I am very tired indeed of native Hungarian speakers who assert that they have a better mastery of English than native English speakers.

agárdi
Guest

I agree, and I’m a Hungarian.

petofi
Guest

Well, you certainly got out your little soapbox, didn’t you, Mr. Webber?

I am a native Hungarian speaker, but having had the infinite good fortune to alight in Canada at the age of 8 and been reared in English from grade 3 on, I consider my English to be of the ‘native’ variety.

Now the one thing that should be infinitely clear to someone who has mastery of the King’s English…is that synonyms, while they may generally have similar meanings, are not interchangeable in all cases. So that, while ‘alleged’ and ‘supposed’ might mean the same (in general) they are not interchangeable and certainly do not carry the same sense, as Eva maintains.

Case closed.

Webber
Guest
Petofi – read what I wrote again. I was reacting to an incorrect “correction” of Eva. I find it very dull to split linguistic hairs and not discuss content. But since you’ve misread me, I’ll state here that I did not write that “supposed” and “alleged” are interchangeable. Indeed, I wrote, of alleged ‘It is certainly not the same as “supposed.” ‘ (here, obviously, I was reacting to Eva’s reply) I also wrote that it is not equivalent of “accused.” (from the criticism of Eva’s article). The point I wanted to make was that Eva used the word “alleged” correctly in her article – and I supported my claim with the definition of alleged from Webster’s Dictionary, which is most commonly accepted among speakers of the American varieties of English. I might just as well have used the OED definition, for those who prefer variants of British English. For “allegedly” the OED definition is: “Used to convey that something is claimed to be the case or have taken place, although there is no proof:” Eva’s use of the term alleged was right – indeed, it was perfect in American English, which she uses. I hope her analysis, which is what… Read more »
Webber
Guest

P.S. For those who prefer British English, here are article headlines from The Guardian and The Telegraph in which “alleged” is used in a manner similar to Eva’s use of the word – and no accusation of illegality is implied by the word here, either:
http://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2014/feb/06/wendi-deng-tonyblair

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/SNP/11515602/Nicola-Sturgeon-calls-for-inquiry-into-leaked-memo-about-alleged-PM-comments.html

If this use of the word “alleged” is good enough for editors and readers of The Guardian and The Telegraph, I don’t know why readers of HS would be bothered by Eva’s similar use of the word.
Case closed.

spectator
Guest

I am most certain that the issue here isn’t if someone ‘native speaker’ or the garden variety Hungarian with six weeks of intensive English course, (me), but whether or not the expression ‘native’ in your environment, or the local populace happens to favour synonyms instead of certain “standard” words in certain context, hence it sounds more familiar.

Try to consider that too!

wolfi
Guest

A bit OT (like the preceding discussion …):
A long time ago I read:
Americans and Brits are divided by their common language …

I also had and still have that problem – learned “English” in school but read and listened mainly to Americans …

Back to the topic:
We’re in a very nice spa right now with my wife’s sister and her husband and they tell us all kind of crazy stories about Orbán, his family, his mafia and the Fideszniks …
So most/all of that information that Eva and some contributors present us here is available to Hungarians – if only they would look for it and react to it …
Of course they read the left press and are generally well informed about Hungarian politics – she was a headmaster and he a manager in a TSZ.
If everybody voted like them there would be a landslide for the left!

Webber
Guest

In this case, British and American uses of the word are identical.
Glad you’re on topic!
Though it’s too early to predict, it now seems likely there be a landslide against Fidesz in 2018.

Paul
Guest
Nothing I like more than an esoteric discussion of my native language! (Or the QUEEN’S English, as we have called it since 1953…) I am no language expert, but as a native speaker of English English, I can confirm that (in the UK, in normal usage) ‘alleged’ does not mean the same thing as ‘supposed’. It is invariably used in the context of saying someone has done something wrong/illegal that you suspect/assume they have done, but cannot prove. It is used especially by such people as TV pundits and comedians to imply guilt in situations where to actually say someone did something would end up in a libel case. Using ‘supposed’ in the same situation WOULD probably get you into trouble as it has a more ‘positive’/’certain’ connotation. And using ‘alleged’ in a non-legal context to mean ‘supposed’ only really works if you are intending to be funny. For instance, this is what I assumed Éva was doing when she wrote ‘alleged Fidesz supporters’ – implying that supporting Fidesz was in some way suspect or something to be ashamed of (which, of course, it is). In fact I thought Éva was being quite subtly humorous, and was disappointed to find… Read more »
Webber
Guest

No, in the US the terms “supposed” and “alleged” are not at all the same. Having lived in both countries, it’s my impression that Americans use “alleged” in a manner that is all but identical to its use in Britain. For examples from the British press of uses of “alleged” similar to Eva’s (and other Americans’) use of the word, see the links I’ve provided above to articles from The Guardian and The Telegraph.

Paul
Guest

And while I’m off topic – a little something on Sunday closing…

When this law came in, my understanding was that it was aimed only at the larger supermarkets, and the smaller ones, like the CBA chain, would still be able to open on Sundays. But our local Coop, which is about the same size, or smaller, than the CBA stores I’m familiar with, is now closed on Sundays.

Mind you, it was only open until 11am on Sundays before (and never had any fresh bread on Sunday mornings!), so this is no great change. Maybe they just took the opportunity to close their unprofitable Sunday opening?

On a more general note, Sunday closing doesn’t seem to have caused the fuss I would have expected. Although, of course, it’s only just been introduced, and this Sunday shops would have been closed anyway.

Nádas
Guest

There are two larger CBA’s in the Krisztinaváros area of District I. The one at Krisztina tér (with an étkezdő/cafeteria) is closed now on Sundays. The even larger one at the Déli train station remains open, and its Sunday hours have actually been extended.

Meanwhile, a small, newly-opened neighborhood Spar near the two is closed.

Go figure. And then explain it to me. Please.

As for the fuss, it was the talk of the sauna at a local pool this morning. I won’t even write the most commonly used Hungarian noun I’ve heard in reference to Sunday closing. But it starts with ‘f’ and ends with ‘ság’.

Ron
Guest

With regard to CBA. I noticed that CBA is re-branding itself to Prima (use to be CBA-Prima), On the television it is only Prima. Also they left out Az Magyar Uzlet Lanc.

As compensation for Sunday closing. I noticed that Lidl is now open till 10.00pm and no longer to 9.00pm (in Szentendre). Auchan parking lot was never that full recently (including Christmas).

Both were very busy even on Saturday night.

googly
Guest
The law was changed at the last minute to only allow stores that are 400 square meters or smaller to remain open, and then only if they are staffed by the owners and/or their immediate family (please correct me if I am wrong about this and they changed it yet again without my noticing). Therefore, almost every store in the country is supposed to be closed on Sunday (and every day after 10pm) except for a relatively small number of convenience marts (though not most of them) and stores in certain exempted locations, such as train stations, the airport, and tourist areas (carefully defined by the government, of course). I’m sure I’m leaving something out, but nothing important. That is why the store at Déli p.u. is open but the Spar and the other CBA are closed. I’ve heard talk that some large chains might pursue franchising, thus allowing the stores to be staffed by the owners, but that would take quite a while to accomplish, and would probably be somehow stopped by Fidesz anyway. Salons and other service establishments can remain open on Sunday (why? are their employees somehow not as important to the government as those who work… Read more »
Nádas
Guest

Thanks for explaining why the Déli CBA is allowed to remain open.

exTor
Guest

I have inadvertently stirred a hornet’s nest. I was going to let this issue lie –allow the hornets to calm themselves– however I can not entirely let it go. Suffice it to say that Webber and some (most?) just do not get it. Petofi and a few do. I am willing to elaborate further, but only privately. For those who wish it, I may be emailed [voxidia@gmail.com] re the ‘alleged’ misuse.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Paul
Guest
Back on topic: I don’t think the graphs quite show what Éva claims they do. For instance, in the first graph, the Ipos and Nézőpont results are pretty identical right up to December, Ipos only deviates after that (although even then not by as much as a first glance might suggest). Tárki also matches Ipos pretty well, apart from October’s sudden peak, and actually gives more negative results than Ipos for most months. At the last date when both polls were taken (January), they give more or less identical figures. The reason Ipos seems to be so much lower than the others could simply be that it has published results more recently. Also, Ipos is pretty much on trend with the second graph, until the most recent results. But again, we don’t actually know if it agrees with the other polls or not, as no others have published results for March. In February, Ipos was polling identically with Syázadvég, and in March was only one point ahead of Nézőpont’s figure for the previous month. No real argument with graph 3, except to make the same point again, which is that only one poll has published for the most recent month,… Read more »
exTor
Guest

Pedantry (as long as it’s not misguided) is what this forum should be about, Paul. What is unmistakably salient is the nosedive of Fidesz since this time last year. The five polls each show it.

With respect to the 2nd and 3rd graphs, I wouldn’t sweat the apparent differences, which could be the result of sampling-size differences or even sampling-methodology differences, eg: Where were the samples taken? or How (phone, streetpoll, etcetera) were the samples taken?

What is clear is that Jobbik is currently the group to beat. That said, it will be 3 years before the next election. Fidesz could well pull itself out of its nosedive before it slams the ground.

MAGYARKOZÓ

exTor
Guest

I tried to include a photo of a billboard showing a Fidesz plea beside Viktor Orbán’s head: TISZTELETET A MAGYAROKNAK! Above that plea was: ÜZENJÜNK BRÜSSZELNEK. [Message to Brussels: Respect Hungarians!]

I took that photo May 2014 beside the Csepel Market. I wanted to include it with my previous send, however I was not able to do so.

How can I include JPG files with my posts? Thanx.

MAGYARKOZÓ

petofi
Guest

A mentality, like the Hungarian one, so insistent on being afforded respect at every opportunity, generally reveals itself as lacking self-respect.

petofi
Guest

I’ve read the links.
The ‘alleged report’ is nothing more than journalese used to provide legal armour in case of a later accusation of defamation. ‘Alleged report’ means that it is a report without proof–ie. a gossip reported as general knowledge. But the use of the word ‘alleged’ is odireferous in its legal implications.

Sir, you’ve been hoisted by your own petard.

Webber
Guest

It means, sir, that people commonly use the term “alleged” as I have alleged, and that it is accepted in print.
I don’t even have a petard, but if I ever did I’d deny it as any gentleman would!
🙂

petofi
Guest

By the way, as we are writers expressing opinions, it’s a fine thing to keep our tools sharpened. I like these discussions over language.

Member

“All the faith she had had had had no effect on the outcome of her life.”

Since I saw this English sentence above I gave up analyzing my grammar. So I ain’t gonna allege anything about Eva’s English …

exTor
Guest

Totally cool and totally grammar-acceptable.

MAGYARKOZÓ

An
Guest

Well, my two cents on the “alleged” issue, as a non-native speaker, haha… “alleged” is casting more doubt on these voters actually wanting to vote for Fidesz, than let’s say “assumed” would. “Allege” does seem to imply that somebody claimed something and the writer expresses doubt about the veracity or correctness of what was claimed (but it does not have to be used in a legal sense). And you could argue that listing these voters on the Fidesz list constitute a kind of claim… so I think there was nothing wrong with using the word there if that was Eva’s intention.

Anyways, we could all weigh in and then maybe have the native speakers cast a vote to decide 🙂

Slightly OT, there is an excellent TED talk about language and how it evolves by Dr. Anne Curzan, professor of English and language historian at the University of Michigan. If you are interested in language, it is worth the 17 minutes, I think.
http://www.ted.com/talks/anne_curzan_what_makes_a_word_real

Yug
Guest

Orban is Fidesz and Fidesz is Orban. Orban won’t be getting any saner or less corrupt. I just can’t imagine that we would have to wait for the next general elections until 2018. Fidesz won’t last that long even if it merges (or its leading politicians merge) in one form or another into Jobbik.

Member

Making Allowances…

Some have allowed, and many have supposed, indeed presumed (though not assumed) that he indeed did not aver what it was that he had supposedly avowed (but that he was not in fact supposed to have claimed at all, by all rights) on that occasion. It was subsequently alleged, putatively, that contrary to what he had purportedly implied (and countering also what had been inferred by all) he had in fact reportedly imputed nothing at all, to anyone, thereby somewhat presumptuously quashing all assumptions, presumably (at least to my mind).

Webber
Guest

🙂 !!!

googly
Guest

Nice!

exTor
Guest
I also like language discussions, petofi, however they are distracting and they (like this one) can get personal. This one has verged on acrimonious. There are three categories of mistakes made in this forum: ONE: mistakes made by people (such as me, Paul) for whom English is their first language; TWO: mistakes made by people (such as some1) for whom English is not their first language and for whom English expression can be a struggle; THREE: mistakes made by people (such as Éva) for whom English is not their first language, but who nevertheless have a commendably high level of communicative ability. Lest anyone get bent out of shape over my typifications, every person falls into one of the 3 mistake categories, perhaps some oftener than others. As for me, I have a more-than-passing interest in the language invented by the country of my birth. I am a writer –poetry until now– and I fancy myself a prescriptivist when it comes to matters anglolingual. With well over 6 decades of experience in English under my belt, I can communicate at least as well as the best person in this room. If anyone wants to talk to me about the ‘alleged’… Read more »
Guest

Why not sharpen your German for a change? An Easter sermon on povery not heard in church.
http://www.pesterlloyd.net/html/1515episodenderarmut.html

wolfi
Guest

More than totally OT re German and considering that sentence by Mutt:
A German sentence with the “same word” repeated six times:

Wenn hinter Fliegen Fliegen fliegen, fliegen Fliegen Fliegen nach!
I just had to say it loud – sounds even nicer that way …

An
Guest

Well, according to Google Translate it means: “If behind fly fly fly fly fly fly by!”

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